Tropical Depression Butchoy moving away, but monsoon rain seen

Acor Arceo
There are no more areas under Signal No. 1 due to Tropical Depression Butchoy as of 11 am on Friday, June 12

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Satellite image of Tropical Depression Butchoy as of June 12, 2020, 11:30 am. Image from NOAA

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Butchoy is making its way out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), but the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat will trigger more rain on Friday, June 12.

In an online briefing past 11 am on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Butchoy is already 140 kilometers west northwest of Iba, Zambales, or 165 kilometers west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

It is still moving west northwest, but at a faster 25 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 15 km/h.

If it maintains its pace, Butchoy may leave PAR either Friday night or Saturday morning, June 13, and then head for the southern part of China.

The tropical depression had made landfall twice in Quezon province on Thursday, June 11 – Polillo at 5:30 pm and Infanta at 6 pm – before swiftly crossing Central Luzon late Thursday and early Friday.

Butchoy also slightly intensified late Friday morning. Its maximum winds increased from 45 km/h to 55 km/h, while its gustiness remains at 70 km/h.

PAGASA said Butchoy is likely to strengthen into a tropical storm within 24 hours, while still inside PAR. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

As of 11 am on Friday, there are no more areas under Signal No. 1. (READ: Why is it now called tropical cyclone ‘wind’ – and not ‘warning’ – signals?)

But PAGASA said occasional gusts due to the southwest monsoon may still be experienced over most of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon as well as the western parts of Southern Luzon and the Visayas.

The state weather bureau also gave the following rainfall outlook for the rest of Friday:

Moderate to heavy rain

  • Zambales
  • Bataan
  • Pangasinan
  • northern part of Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Islands
  • Occidental Mindoro

Light to moderate – with at times heavy – monsoon rain

  • rest of Luzon
  • Western Visayas

Butchoy and the southwest monsoon will cause moderate to very rough seas with waves 1.5 to 4.5 meters high in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon, especially in the Ilocos Region, Zambales, and Bataan. PAGASA warned that travel is risky, especially for small vessels.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Butchoy as of June 12, 2020, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Also on Friday, PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season in the country.

Butchoy is the Philippines’ second tropical cyclone for 2020. The first was Typhoon Ambo (Vongfong) last May.

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

In PAGASA’s climate outlook, it gave the following estimates for the number of tropical cyclones in the next 6 months:

  • June – 1 or 2
  • July – 2 to 4
  • August – 2 or 3
  • September – 2 or 3
  • October – 2 or 3
  • November – 1 or 2



Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters, handles the business desk, and ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections.